Touch football, you figure, what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you jam your finger on a mishandled spiral? It was a pre-thanksgiving two on two run around in the park sunshiny day. We were down by a touchdown trying to hold the other team on the goal line so we could tie up the game. I had the bright idea of standing in the opposing receiver’s way. I figured I would obstruct him from getting into the end zone, but then THWACK! Did he just throw a punch at my nose? That’s what it felt like. Stars and cuckoo birds circled my head. I fell down to the ground because I had no idea how else to react. But then I felt my face and a red gooey liquid was on my fingers. I touched my nose. It reminded me of shaking a burnt out lightbulb.
I went to the bathroom to clean myself up. Fortunately I was wearing a red shirt. I was glad there was no mirror in the park’s public restroom. I did not want to see what grotesque shape my face was in. I rolled up toilet paper and jammed it in my nostril to stop the never ending stream.
Other players came. I tried to continue playing, but any time I ran more blood came dripping out. They reenacted for me what happened. It was not the receiver’s fist that slammed my face, it was his elbow.
I sat on the sidelines in the shade next to one of the player’s six year old son. The kid started telling me a great prank to pull on people. “You put a fake dinosaur in the refrigerator and when they open it, you make scary dinosaur noises.”
“You know what’s an even better prank?”
“You put a real dinosaur in the fridge.” The kid lost it. He was laughing so hard he did a somersault which cheered me up.
I tried to get in a Thanksgiving state of mind and be grateful I didn’t lose any teeth. Maybe this injury wouldn’t be so bad. I remembered one time I had a black eye for a couple weeks. I swear to God I’d never been so lucky with the ladies. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I doubt it. The black eye made me look dangerous and like a loser, two qualities women always look for in men. If I broke my nose I’d have two black eyes. That would mean twice the women.
I walked to my car disappointed to see no swelling. I was just another blood stained shmoe with toilet paper up his nose.